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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007, 19:46 GMT
'I'm leaving the NHS for New Zealand'
Stethoscope
Iain says many of his colleagues are planning to leave the NHS
Thousands of trainee doctors have marched through London and Glasgow to protest about a new system for allocating specialist jobs, despite promises from the government that the system has been improved.

Iain Davies, 29, is looking for work as a trainee in emergency medicine.

Like 28,000 other UK junior doctors, he has applied for his next post online through the Medical Training Application Programme, which along with other changes to the training programme, has been attacked by doctors.

He says: "I have been one of the lucky ones. I have had an interview for an emergency medicine post in Newmarket."

'Damaging system'

But, even if he is accepted, Iain doesn't plan to take the post up; despite having undergone training which cost 250,000, and accumulating personal debt of 34,000.

I'm leaving because, under the new system, patient care will suffer

"I'm really disheartened. I've wanted to be a doctor since I was 12.

"I wanted it as a career so I could put my heart and soul into it. I would be doing something worthwhile, and would get personal satisfaction from it.

"I know there is a stereotype of middle-class people going into medicine, but I had to work - as a barman and a doorman - all the way through university."

He said he was leaving because he was so dissatisfied with the changes to juniors' training, and in particular the application process.

"It is really a test of how good you are at creative writing.

"You have 150 words to answer questions such as 'what have you done outside your job to convince us of your dedication to the specialty?'

"If you're working from 1pm to 10pm, you don't have a lot of time to do anything else outside of your job."

He said he was going to New Zealand, along with his girlfriend - a trainee surgeon who hasn't been given any interviews - to get a better quality of training.

"Under the new UK system, we will have to have 28 assessments a year. Twenty-five years ago we were never checked, but now the pendulum has swung too far the other way."

Iain says he is concerned consultants will end up spending too much time carrying out these extra assessments, rather than treating patients, and that there are many aspects to the new system, including the recruitment process, which he thinks will mean the best doctors will not get jobs.

He added: "I'm leaving because, under the new system, patient care will suffer. I don't want to collude with this damaging system."




SEE ALSO
Review into doctor recruitment
07 Mar 07 |  Health
Jobs protest planned by doctors
02 Mar 07 |  Health

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